In the early 90s hip hop took a turn and gangsta-style rap dominated, making waves off the West Coast that rattled throughout the world. The East Coast's dominance was descending despite the success and positivity of Native Tongues acts like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, who favored thought-provoking humor and cleverness over gangsta rap's grittiness and grim outlook. It was in this landscape that Oakland, CA’s Del The Funky Homosapien emerged in 1991, with his debut release I Wish My Brother George Was Here.
Cribbing equally from the East Coast's irreverence and wit, and the West Coast's P-Funk inspired production, (the album was produced by Del’s cousin Ice Cube) Del's debut has rightly been heralded as a benchmark album for underground hip hop. Wish My Brother George Was Here not only produced the underground classics "Dr. Bombay" and "Mistadobalina" (#9 on the 1992 Hot Rap Tracks Charts), but also set the scene for the success of the other less gangsta West Coast artists like The Pharcyde, Digable Planets, and of course Del’s compatriots in Souls of Mischief. Above all else, Del is credited with injecting some much needed light-heartedness at a moment when it was truly needed.